Microsoft Sway

Recently I was preparing notes for a Continued Professional Development (CPD) session on Digital Storytelling and compiling as comprehensive a list as possible of tools that can be used in the classroom to create Digital Stories. PowerPoint was to close off my list and as I was running a final double check on the list I realised that I had completely overlooked Microsoft Sway and so it was added.
During the CPD session I was surprised to find that very few teachers were aware of Sway and how it could be used as a Digital storytelling tool. Unfortunately due to time constraints I wasn’t able to spend any great amount of time explaining how to use Sway, however I was able to direct teachers to the Microsoft Courses and Resources site and I highlighted the Digital Storytelling using Sway course.
The Sway course is easy to engage with and on a successful completion a teacher can earn study points and a course badge. Briefly, while on the topic of courses and badges it is definitely worth pointing out the huge variety of courses available on the site and they cater to a wide range of IT competencies.
Sway is really easy to use and it can be accessed either online from or from a downloadable app to a PC or laptop. I should point out that I use a paid subscription to Microsoft Office however Sway is also available in the online option as part of the free Microsoft Office offering.
The link for Sway can be easily seen on the home screen.
The Sway web-hosted app can be opened on a PC from a desktop shortcut or any of the other usual ways to start programs. Unfortunately the Sway app for the iPad was “retired” last December and is no longer available.
The on screen interface for the online version and desktop version are practically identical.

The following images will give you an overview of the step taken to create and share a Sway Digital Story.

A complete Sway can be shared via a link. Here is the sample Sway I created for this Blog.
I think that Microsoft Sway is a simple and effective Digital Storytelling tool and the time spent getting to know how to use it via a Microsoft course would be well spent.

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